Suharsha Bhagat CSE Rank 5, 2014 Shares His Preparation Strategy

Suharsha Bhagat’s IAS success story is a lesson on perseverance and determination. He secured the fifth rank in the 2014 CSE in his fifth attempt. He had cleared the UPSC civil services exam in almost all his previous attempts but his adamance in getting the prestigious IAS made him stick it out till the fifth attempt. In this article, we have compiled Bhagat’s IAS preparation strategy for your benefit.

Suharsha Bhagat IAS Bio

Bhagat is a native of Samastipur, Bihar. He completed his schooling from Jharkhand and New Delhi and graduated from IIT Bombay in chemical engineering. In his previous attempts, he was allotted the Indian Audit Accounts Service and the Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax) but quit both during training to better his rank. In two of his attempts, he was not allotted any service despite clearing the exam because he had filled only the top three services in his preference. In his fifth attempt in 2014, his courage and hard work were rewarded when he bagged an amazing rank of 5.

IAS preparation tips from Suharsha Bhagat

  • Important factors that determine success: smart and intelligent preparation, psychological support, emotional stability and situational awareness.
  • He says that it is not needed to get mastery over the subjects. The aim of your IAS preparation is to clear the UPSC exam.
  • According to Bhagat, syncing your attitude with your preparation is essential. After a course of time, since preparation would become an integral part of your life, it is important to enjoy the process.
  • Making current affairs notes need a lot of effort, so it would be great if you can get them ready-made for you. (Candidates can look up BYJU’S Comprehensive News Analysis and PIB for more).
  • While writing the mains paper, it is important to finish the whole paper rather than maximising your marks in individual questions. For this, a lot of mains test practice is required.
    Tips for answer writing practice:
  1. Start with attempting previous year UPSC question papers once you have completed a topic.
  2. Start with simple questions and then upgrade to difficult ones.
  3. Discuss with friends or teachers for different perspectives, inputs and feedback.
  4. You will take more time in writing an answer in the beginning but will improve gradually.
  5. You should target 7 minutes per question.
  6. You should also have enough time to frame the answer structure before penning it down.
  7. Practise answer writing every day.
  • To understand difficult concepts, first break it down and then think from a multidisciplinary angle. ‘Deconstruct – Understand – Reconstruct’.
  • Rather than filling up the pages provided for writing the answer, try and adhere to the word limit.
  • For Geography optional:
  1. Prepare map-based questions since they are very scoring.
  2. Prefer writing in points and include diagrams as well.
  3. Human geography is also a scoring portion.
  4. Good books for this optional are books by Majid Hussain and Savindra Jain.
  • NCERTs are necessary reads for starting your preparation but they are not enough.
  • For Ethics paper:
  1. Your approach should be dynamic and vocabulary-based.
  2. It encompasses topics from philosophy, psychology and public administration.
  3. Your answers should be based on approaches like rights-based, virtue-based, justice-based, etc.
  4. Strategy for answering ethics case studies:
    1. Identifying stakeholders
    2. Highlighting the dilemmas
    3. Creating responses and alternatives
    4. Analysing the effect of the responses on stakeholders
    5. Concluding by describing how the case was a learning experience
  • It is better to read government report summaries rather than the actual reports.
  • To be on the safe side, attempt at least 60 questions in the UPSC prelims exam. Attempt all the questions you are sure of first before moving on to the others.
  • Presentation is important in the mains exam. Underlining keywords and including schematic and diagrammatic representations in your answers will enhance their value.
  • Understand the directive words and write the answers accordingly.
  • In the essay paper, avoid jargons and giving unnecessary quotes. Your essay should have a natural flow and coherence.
  • The UPSC interview is a random process and a huge part is played by your frame of mind and confidence on that day. Apart from the newspapers and current affairs, the DAF is extremely important in your interview.

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